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Dust off the “old” to create “new” events

Dust off the “old” to create “new” events

EACE Blog contribution by Amy Weinstein, Assistant Director/Technology Manager at Bryant University

Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that have been tried in the past, and are then re-visited later.  Take the idea of a peer-to-peer event sharing internships.   That was the premise of Bryant University’s recent Internship Showcase featuring Juniors & Seniors sharing their internship experiences with first and second year students.  This was an idea that had been tried approximately 5 years ago, without success.  But, we decided to give it another try.  This time it worked!   Why?

New Space

internship_showcase_bryant_1Our recently renovated student center provided the perfect space to set up tables and balloons.  Student Center staff, looking for departments to utilize this space, were eager to help make this event a success and we received tremendous support in terms of facilities and set up.

Engaged Volunteers

Our Juniors & Seniors, who volunteered to share their internship experiences, were selected from other leadership organizations on campus.  In particular a new peer mentor group, who had been trained already to share their experiences with other students, came forward in large numbers.  We ended up with 35 student volunteers, representing most majors on campus.  We gave our volunteers t-shirts and Dunkin Donuts gift cards as both an incentive to participate as well as a token of appreciation.

Faculty Support

Faculty were critical in promoting the event through Bryant’s mandatory first year classes.  Some faculty even gave extra credit for participation.  Our new card scan technology made it easy for faculty to track students that attended.

Social Media

Once again social media was huge.  Email, Twitter and Facebook were used extensively to publicize the event, and also used to celebrate the success of the event afterwards.

internship_showcase_bryant_2With over 175 first and second year students in attendance, we consider this a success for our campus of approximately 3,000 undergraduates.  Will we try this event again next year?   Absolutely!  Perhaps we can leverage this year’s event success to keep this going strong for a few years.  Our student videographer captured footage that we can use to promote next year’s event.  But, like all successful events, we may find that next year’s Internship Showcase fizzles.    Hopefully if that’s the case, we can put it away for a few semesters, then dust it off and try again.

Amy Weinstein

Amy Weinstein

Amy Weinstein, Assistant Director/Technology Manager at Bryant University, has been assisting students with career advising for over 15 years. Amy has worked in career services offices at the University of Rhode Island and the University of San Francisco. She has also worked as a university relations recruiter for AMD Corporation.  Amy has a Master of Science in Career Counseling from San Francisco State University and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island.

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